It has really been my week for odd phone calls. First there was the Viagra phone call and yesterday we received a call from a ‘company’ called Eco-Vision Tech. The call sounded like it was coming from India. The caller informed that my router was sending out error messages and he was calling from my ‘operating system’s manufacturer. I asked him if he was calling from Apple he said no. At which point I hung up.
This is a scam that has been going on for a while. It happened to my mother as well. What they do is convince you there is something wrong with your computer. Then they sometimes will ask you to install some software, which will then make you think there is something wrong with your computer. Another tactic is to direct you to event logs on your computer and telling you that all of those messages are errors. Once they hook you they want your credit card or bank information so they can get money from you.
Calling me was rather useless. I know far too much about computers to be swayed by their scare tactics. But there are a lot of people who do not and may be swayed. I wonder how many people actually fall for this scam? They wanted to charge my mother $200 to ‘fix’ her computer. I am sure that was just the beginning. Clearly this is where they make their money. I am sure many people hang up on them and don’t get sucked in. I can imagine it could be pretty compelling if you have someone on the phone telling you your computer is sending out error messages and that your computer is going to die.
I think we all need to talk to our parents or others who may be vulnerable to this scam. They need to know that a random call like this is a scam and they simply need to hang up. Hopefully if enough people are warned this scam will cease to work.
 I use the word ‘company’ very loosely here.
 Referred to as scareware.
I fail to understand why people leave their dogs in the car in the summer. I mean seriously what the fuck are they thinking? It is not like bringing the dog with you is a passive act. In our house whenever someone goes to the door to leave there is a very loud parade. All the dogs rush the gate in a cacophony of expectation. Before we decide if we are taking someone with us we consider the outdoor temperature, the activities we have planned and make a decision about taking a dog. If we are going somewhere that will require the dog being alone for a long period of time then generally the dogs don’t go. The only time we take dogs in the heat is when two of us are going and one of us is staying in the vehicle with the dogs. Once we have decided someone is coming with us, we have to leash him or her and then get them into the vehicle. You just don’t accidentally take a dog with you.
Apparently some idiot left his dog Harley in a vehicle in the Toronto area today while he went to visit his wife in the hospital. I saw a news report that showed that the temperature in the car went to over 40 degrees Celsius. Who does that?
In other stupidly related news, a baby was rescued from a locked car in Kelowna today. Like dogs, babies cannot regulate their temperatures. While babies have opposable thumbs, they lack the fine motor control to open the door or the window. Again, taking a baby with you is not done accidentally. The case in Kelowna is even more disturbing in that the two women who were in the car, one of whom was the baby’s mother, said they had only gone into Zellers for 10 minutes. Again, what the fuck? Who does these things?
Please, everyone, if you have a baby or a dog don’t leave it in your car in the heat unless you want a dead baby or dog.
Listening to the newscasts today you would think that the world is about to end because, wait for it, gasp, it is going to SNOW!! Apparently, it is going to SNOW a lot. To listen to the news reporters if the sun comes up on Thursday, after SNOWmaggedon, it will be a miracle. Yes, really, a miracle!
The SNOW storm, the likes of which we haven’t “seen since 2008,” is due to hit eastern North America on February 2, 2011. Now, the last time I checked we were in the Northern hemisphere and it is still winter in February. So one is left to wonder why SNOWmaggedon is even news? Another well-known weather fact will also come into effect tomorrow: lake effect SNOW. What this means, is that people who live near the great lakes will get more SNOW. Is any of this new? No!!!
So why is it news? Clearly the media did not bother to read my PSA posted in January about SNOW and reporting it. In fact, I would argue it has gotten worse. You see, I live on the west coast. I do not live anywhere near Eastern North America yet I have been inundated all day today with reports of SNOWmaggedon. I have heard predictions of SNOW days and rush hour mayhem, which will then turn into bedlam.
I have a theory here. I think the media are focusing so much on reporting the weather because everything else is too difficult. In a world where dictators, terror alerts and protests not to mention political ‘leaders’ who encourage violence are the order of the day, reporting about weather must seem like an easy pass. Political stalemates, on both sides of the border, along with negative political advertisements means there is even less for real journalists to report. Neither the Canadian Parliament nor the US Congress is really ‘working’ in any productive way. Given that this is not likely to change in any meaningful way for the foreseeable future, I look forward to more weather related news. I am sure we will have the hottest temperatures this summer since 2007 and a plague of locusts this summer. Get ready for LOCUSTS leave LA!!
 Opined one meteorologist from the US.
 I am wondering now if they are going to find a way to bring Groundhog Day into SNOWmaggedon.
Ok, I know snow is a big deal. I know it makes the lattes cold and you can’t wear your flop-flips without risking frostbite (and maybe ridicule). You have to plan a little more and you may even have to clean your car off. It complicates driving a great deal for most people. But for the love of all things holy can you all please knock of the snow scaremongering that goes on in this city.
Snow is big news here on the Left Coast. I know we live in a rainforest. Occasionally, something happens and we get colder air that causes the little raindrops to turn into white flakes. This does not mean that the world, as we know it, is about to end. It does not mean that there will be bedlam on the roads.
Please, I implore you, if there is snow in the forecast, report it. Just like you would sunshine or rain or fog or whatever else it might do. Keep your thoughts of doom and gloom to yourself.
If not, I am sure Starbucks can build something to keep your latte cup warm in the winter. It will retail for $12.95 no doubt.
 Although, I must say, your warnings today were bad enough that lots of people didn’t drive. It made my commute home ever so much better!
Given that we are baking already, it is time for everyone to act responsibly with regard to fire. In particular, this PSA is directed at those individuals who smoke and who feel the need to flick their cigarette butt out the window. Not only is smoking a disgusting habit some smokers lower the bar by littering their lit butts in to the grassy medians around Metro Vancouver. So, if you smoke, please use the ashtray in your car.